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“Beautiful location, terrible service and bedbugs” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of SurfBreak Cabarete

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SurfBreak Cabarete
Ranked #1 of 27 Cabarete B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Beautiful location, terrible service and bedbugs”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Surf break lodge in Encuentro for a week this February. We booked it because it was a good deal, and I had checked the property out and the location was perfect. Upon arrival, Veronika had 'forgotten' that we were coming, even though we had been in email contact, AND I had come the day prior to talk to her and check out the lodge. We were put in a smaller room for the first night (which we didn't mind) then moved to the penthouse the next day. When boyfriend and I were unpacking our bags in the penthouse, she came into our room and chastised us for leaving the room a mess, even though we were in the midst of unpacking. She never bothered to check us in, and we had to try and track her down to get keys, internet password, ask about the protocol with the gate and the 2 killer dogs, and other information about the area. On our 2nd night there, we hosted my parents for dinner, and one of Veronika's dog bit my dad. Luckily, the bite was not too bad, but it was very scary. After we had been there a few nights, my boyfriends starting getting really bad bites on his legs and arms. We found out they were bed bugs, and pulled apart the room and found bed bug eggs, shells and blood from previous guests and bites. When we told Veronika about the bed bugs she did NOTHING to help us other than to offer a cold water washing machine and no soap. Bed bugs are a very serious issue, and require 100+ degree washing and drying, buying a new mattress AND fumigating. We were obviously quite upset, as it was going to take us 3 days out of our holiday to launder all of our belongings (not to mention all of our backpacks, books etc that had to be put in black garbage bags and put out in the sun for 3 days). Not once did she offer to get us a taxi to the laundromat, pay for the laundry, or apologize. She got mad at me and tried to kick us out for having the audacity to ask her to move us to a new room, free of bed bugs, and to buy some laundry soap. During this ordeal, her dog attacked my boyfriend, and again, no apology from Veronika. The day that we left, she had already booked someone into the bedbug infested room the day that we were leaving. While the hotel is lovely, she does not have the sense of mind to run a place like that, and her dogs could seriously harm someone, especially a child. I would not recommend this place to anyone.

Room Tip: check for bed bugs first.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Kelsey R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surfbreakcabarete, Owner at SurfBreak Cabarete, responded to this review, 2 April 2016
It sounds like my mother and you really hated each other! I'm sorry my mother was such a *#*?% to you. One can see from reviews made around the same time that you had a very different experience than anyone else. Well, you can stop hating her now. She died about two years ago.

Surfbreak has been highly upgraded since then. The new Casa Mistica was built with a superbe yoga studio overlooking Encuentro's amazing nature. I also renovated all other buildings. All furniture is new and very comfortable. The whole Surfbreak has totally transformed while keeping the beautiful things (like the magical gardens) my mother seeded not only intact but constantly embellishing them. Please see more recent reviews to get the feel of the new Surfbreak.
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110 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    90
    15
    3
    1
    1
See reviews for
8
44
26
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Hillsborough, New Jersey
Level Contributor
143 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2013

I love this place and if I ever return to the DR I will stay here!!!

It is located less than a 5 minute walk to the surfing beach. The lodge has guard dogs that are love very scary but are the nicest dogs and enjoyed having them around.

The owner is a very nice lady who will help you with any need.

I definitely recommend this hotel! It really does provide great value. Great location. Very Safe.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Senk C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2012

I stayed here for my birthday. The owner was extremely welcoming and informative. The place was beautiful! It was very clean and safe. We were supposed to stay for a week, but due to a friend's injury we had to leave early and were sooo disappointed to do so. The place is located close (walking distance) to the beach with great surfing. She also let us use her beautiful horse to ride along the beach for no charge which was a wonderful experience. There is free wifi available and a great kitchen. I highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lenene W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2012

This is a really nice place, clean, neat, organize, secure, even for babies, my friend came from germany with his 6 months old son. The dogs are really friendly and We have no trouble with them. What can i say Im going back this weekend. I forgot to say is really close the surf spots and its budget price, so ... Kawabunga Dudes...

Room Tip: Bring mosquito repellent.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GsusSurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2012

I have stayed twice at the Surf Break Lodge and I will do so again every time I am in Cabarete.

The lodge is located just a short drive or slightly longer walk from Playa Encuantra (great surf spot). The rooms are huge, the beds are much bigger than the ones in other places in the area I have stayed at. The rooms have a small kitchen and executive fridge, hot water in the showers. There are clean sheets and towels in the bathrooms as well as bottled water for drinking.

There is a swimming pool that stays nice and cool in the day, and the water is warm at night with a great view of the starry sky on clear nights.

As for prices I would dare you to find such large rooms anywhere for the price. If you are not looking for a resort experience and want to go on a nice surf trip or just exploring the beaches in Cabarete and Sosua you cannot go wrong with the Surf Break Lodge.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Leandro_Antuan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2011

Ok, so I've been heading down to the Cabarete area for a number of years. Surf Break Lodge is exactly what I need. It is a budget accommodation in a very secure setting. The owner is as interactive with you as you set. If you are off on your own, that's fine. If you are around and about, don't be surprised to get a dinner invitation. She lives onsite.

As with most buildings in this area, there are bars on the windows, but that doesn't stop the mosquitos, spiders, or the geckos that come and feed on them. However, this place has mosquito netting over every bed, which does exactly what it is supposed to do.

I am often surprised at reviews where people want to pay $10/night and expect to have an "Americanized hotel". There is no false advertising with Surf Break Lodge. There are other hostel type accommodations near Encuentro (THE beach for surfing) that will charge roughly double and provide pretty much the same thing. If you want to be waited on, go stay in Cabarete (I'm even sure you should stay close to a McDonald's), and sort out how to get to this fine place (or, in fact, don't). I'd rather be close to the surfing, and wander into town via guagua, than be in anything that has the types of tourists that don't understand this kind of accommodation, and write negative reviews. It reflects them, I guess.

You can tell that I like this place, and it rocks, and it fits a budget that leaves room for other things. To boot, every room has an espresso machine, I'm not asking for more.

So, to sum it up: Lush, clean and very safe. Coffee or OJ, a walk to the beach to surf, and walk back for breakfast. A fridge for an avocado the size of my head, my beer, and rum, and a gardener that will split a fresh coconut (also for my rum). a buck or two by guagua or carro publico (or $12 by taxi) to Cabarete - which is a good way to come home at the end of a crazy Cabarete night. If this seems to be your vay-kay, stay, stay stay. If you want something else, please, please go somewhere else.

Last year, I was late in booking and ended up having to stay at another, very nice place in Cabarete, cuz SBL was booked. while that was a small hotel, and nice, it was a shuttle or taxi to coordinate for my surfing. Too much structure for my vacation. I'm going to surf. I want the proximity to this beach. so yeah, there are other ways of doing an all-inclusive that could even be cheaper. but for me, the flight plus accommodation works well. and it means that I eat where the locals eat too.

I'm looking forward to see the new digs that just opened in October 2011. If I'm organized, I'll report back upon my return in mid-November.

and, for reference, I am writing in advance of my next trip, and because I found the unfair "nightmare" review written by someone who, imho, is cheap and didn't do their homework. It's all about managed expectations folks. check out the YouTube video by a guy who shared his room with a tailless gecko. I think he had the same experience as the nightmare, and simply took it in differently.

Room Tip: sort out whether you are prepared to make breakfasts and lunches (use the Supermercado in Sosua alon...
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  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank S-Mann M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philippines
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2011

A friend and I booked a months stay here during the month of June 2011. We arrived and the woman who owns the place was very nice, however is severely delusional. My "cottage" was right next to the entrance gate where there were 3 dogs chained to my door. As the taxi driver is unloading my bags, I asked "do these dogs stay chained to MY door" and as all of us are in my room including the 3 big dogs she responds "well, not the biggest one, just the other 2" WHAT?! Okay, luckily my friend had the adjoining room next to me so I just used her door to get in and out. The property and landscape with the pool was very nice, but the rooms were very, very hot...with no screens to keep the windows open and the bugs out. Since the property is lush with many plants there are a lot of mosquitos and cockroaches. She has mosquito nets around the beds I guess to make up for this, so good look if you are doing anything else at night that's not in your bed if you want the windows and doors open for some form of air. Oh, and the sun sets at 6, so you have plenty of time at night and sitting in your bed keeps god knows what out isn't pleasant. My friend and I were supposed to stay the entire month of June we ended up leaving after 3 nights...the last night the electricity and wifi were out, apparently she has 3 months to pay her electricity and it shouldn't have been turned off. Well, it was with no lights or wifi, I hopped in my mosquito net, left the windows open because my small working fan was getting no electricity and decided to go to bed. Well at 3am a very big cockaroach decided to share the net with me and luckily I had my iphone ran out from under the net and killed it. I awoke the next morning to see a hundred ants chowing down on their roach dinner and I went directly to her room to ask for a cab immediately. I ended up staying at the Kite Beach Inn, which ended up being the best decision I ever had and made my stay in Cabarete one of the best experiences of my life. Lastly, I mentioned this terrible experience to a South African I befriended and he had the same experience and high tailed it after one night leaving his months pay...luckily I didn't pay for my whole month up front and was only out the 3 nights. Which the lady that ran the place was upset by, because she said people always do that...if they don't pay up front they end up leaving. Well, figure it out lady!! the place needs some major rennovations such as mosquito nets, no dogs chained to residents doors and pay your electricity bill. Look for my Kite Beach Inn review, I made the best of friends, had the best time and literally was on the beach where I could Kite whenever the wind so desired...this place, you were warned...don't do it. Oh, and I just remembered the horse she has that doesn't sleep! There was too much to forget about this stay..

Room Tip: There are many budget rooms in the city of Cabarete....look behind Janet's grocery store for som...
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Agent_Adventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surfbreakcabarete, Owner at SurfBreak Cabarete, responded to this review, 2 April 2016
I'm writing this on April 2nd, 2016. My "delusional" mother is for ever resting in peace since about two years. I'm sorry you had this experience.

Surfbreak has been completely renovated, buildings were added, the whole place has been almost completely transformed, including owner and staff. We still have a few dogs but no one will ever experience anything like you did. It is nothing like described in this review anymore. Please see our website and also the latest reviews to see what Surfbreak has become.
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Additional Information about SurfBreak Cabarete

Property: SurfBreak Cabarete
Address: Camino Del Rancho 11 | Encuentro - Vista Del Caribe, Cabarete 57000, Dominican Republic (Formerly Surf Break Lodge)
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Cabarete
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 27 B&Bs / Inns in Cabarete
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — SurfBreak Cabarete 2.5*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surfbreak Cabarete Bed&Breakfast, a nature and adventure-inspired vacation property, is tucked into the tropical beauty of the Encuentro Beach surfing area, just 5 minutes by car from Cabarete and 15 minutes from Puerto Plata International Airport. Relax in the amazing tropical gardens surrounding the pools... do yoga in the fantastic yoga studio, cook your own meal in our communal kitchen, or take a short walk to the unspoiled Encuentro Beach for a surfing session or just for a walk. Accommodations on the two properties are roomy, rustically and artistically designed and each type offers a bathroom with shower, small fridge, large fan and maid service. Additional room options include Air Conditioning and a Kitchenette with cooking/eating utensils. The benefits of yoga on surfing are numerous and surfing is known to be great for the soul! Not every Yogi is a surfer, or vice versa, but what both share in common is a respect for the beauty and simplicity of nature... which you will find in abundance here. Surfbreak Cabarete hosts singles, couples, families and friends who want to enjoy this, each other and an array of adventure and sport activities Cabarete and the surrounding area has to offers. ... more   less 
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